1. Life & Culture

Pinellas Park theater goof exposes kids at 'Frozen' to steamy sex scene

Ticket buyers for a recent matinee of Disney's Frozen at a Pinellas Park multiplex got more of a show than they paid for.

On Friday afternoon, technical difficulties at Regal Park Place Stadium 16 led to nearly two minutes of sexually explicit footage being shown rather than the PG-rated animated hit.

A spokesman for Regal Cinemas called it "an isolated incident" caused when a "wrong movie" was started, suggesting it might have been the R-rated Dallas Buyers Club, which begins with Matthew McConaughey's character having sex with two women in a rodeo stall.

"The wrong movie did start Friday evening in one auditorium at Park Place," Regal vice president Russ Nunley explained by email. "Less than two minutes of this incorrect movie were shown before it was stopped.

"After the correct movie was shown, our manager gathered the audience to apologize and offer future visits for free. At the end of speaking, the audience applauded the theater manager for his response and sincere apology.

"Rest assured that our staff is taking steps to ensure that such an error does not occur in the future."

In attendance at the botched screening was Lynn Greene of Largo and her three grandchildren. Before the show, her twin granddaughters left with another grandparent for a restroom break, leaving Greene in the auditorium with her 6-year-old grandson.

Greene told Fox 13 News that after some technical difficulties, what appeared to be a vintage-looking Mickey Mouse cartoon — likely Frozen's attached short subject Get a Horse — played briefly. Then the graphic footage began.

In brief comments to the Times on Tuesday, Greene confirmed she covered her grandson's eyes but he could still hear the trailer's contents. Then she wanted to drop the subject.

"I'm kind of spent on it," Greene said, blaming negative feedback her story received on Fox 13's website. "I got myself offended, so I'm done.

"People are actually criticizing me and telling me to get over it. And that I'm looking for something more than movie tickets, and I didn't even want the movie tickets. I want safeguards in place so this doesn't happen again."

There are clearly defined guidelines concerning movie theater advertising — including trailers — established by the National Association of Theater Owners.

But there are no rules or penalties regarding inadvertently starting the wrong movie. Or projectionists making dumb mistakes, which is what this appears to be.